Fast Tips Friday: Alexa is Free to Use

Post publication date: 1/25/19 – Obviously anyone who already owns and uses an Alexa device is already aware, but most other consumers don’t know that Alexa is free to use.

As it turns out, this misunderstanding keeps a lot of people who would find Alexa devices very useful from getting one. There’s an assumption that the Alexa service cannot possibly be free, because it does so much.

Spread the word among your friends and family: while you have to buy the Alexa devices themselves, once you do, there’s no charge for using the Alexa service AND you do not have to sign up for Amazon Prime to use Alexa devices.

I’m not sure how people got the idea that Alexa devices only work with Amazon Prime accounts or that there’s some kind of monthly Alexa fee you have to pay, but this misconception is very common.

While there are some specific Alexa skills and outside services like Spotify Premium and Sirus XM that charge for their services, there’s no obligation or even need to sign up for any of them. Even in the music area, Alexa can tune into any radio station that streams its content online in addition to running it over the airwaves—most radio stations do this now—, and it comes bundled with access to free streaming-only music services like Pandora and iHeartRadio. There are also plenty of free Alexa skills for music, ambient sound, radio dramas and white noise.

Alexa’s core functionality is free, there are no recurring charges beyond what you’re already paying for your WiFi connection and no requirement to sign up for Amazon Prime.